Jun 23, 2021 • 1HR 18M

Fellow Travelers and Killer Robots, with Kelsey Atherton and Andrew Leber

Kelsey Atherton and Andrew Leber join me to talk about a new progressive foreign policy effort and recent developments in the world of military drones.

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Appears in this episode

Derek Davison
Foreign Exchanges is a newsletter and podcast that helps you stay on top of important stories happening around the world. Derek Davison interviews scholars, journalists, and other experts to make sense of international affairs and US foreign policy.
Episode details

This week I’m joined by Andrew Leber from Harvard's Department of Government and defense technology journalist Kelsey Atherton to talk about a new briefing book produced by their excellent Fellow Travelers Blog. The book compiles several policy briefs commissioned by FTB over the past several months and is intended to provide some substance for progressive members of Congress looking to steer US foreign policy in a more progressive direction. Toward that end, they’ve started a GoFundMe to support publication and distribution costs, and if you’re able to help out in that regard please do so.

Because I can’t have Kelsey on without talking at least a little bit about drones, we spend a few minutes toward the end of our discussion on recent and somewhat sketchy reports of autonomous drones targeting fighters in Libya and the still nascent movement to craft some international rules of the road about the use of weapons platforms that don’t necessarily require human intervention. We’ll also discuss the proliferation of relatively inexpensive mid-level drones (or in Kelsey’s words “the Honda Civic of drones”) and what it suggests about the future of warfare.

You can find Andrew and Kelsey on Twitter, and I highly recommend checking out Kelsey’s own Substack, Wars of Future Past.